The Coming Dystopia—and Beyond
The dystopian genre has dominated books and movies, but the coming dystopia will be much worse—and the end of the story, much better—than anyone can imagine.
When we think of the ideal world, we often dream of the perfect utopia where there will be no war, crime, famine or disease.
But stories about utopia don’t seem to be currently popular. Instead, books and movies are filled with dystopia, sometimes defined as an anti-utopia. The success of dystopian series, such as Divergent, The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner, makes a person think about how our world will really be in the end, and what we can do now to prepare.
The fiction and the reality
Long before dystopian fiction was written, the Bible told mankind about the future. In some ways, the Bible agrees with the dystopian literature. In other ways, it reveals a future entirely different. The Bible, as the inspired Word of God, gives the accurate interpretation of the future (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:19-21).
Let’s compare four aspects of the dystopian genre with the future revealed in the Bible. Three of them, in keeping with the dystopian view, are very negative. Thankfully, the last one differs greatly from these fictional accounts.
The death of most of mankind
Many dystopian stories portray a majority of mankind as having died. In The Maze Runner, for example, a solar flare strikes the earth, followed by a lethal disease.
Sadly, widespread death will plague mankind in the future. A fourth of mankind will be killed by the last of the four horsemen, which represents the aftermath of war and famine—deadly disease epidemics (Revelation 6:8). Later, plagues will kill a third of mankind (Revelation 9:15, 18). The death carries on and on, to such an extent that Christ said the entire human race would be wiped out if He didn’t intervene (Matthew 24:22).
In some ways, the Bible agrees with the dystopian literature. In other ways, it reveals a future entirely different.A single, powerful government
Another common trait of many dystopian works is the existence of a single, dominant form of government. In some versions, such as George Orwell’s classic Nineteen Eighty-Four, there are a few governments vying for power. In others, such as The Maze Runner, there is a single world government like WICKED. In The Hunger Games, North America is dominated by the Capitol under the tyrannical dictator Coriolanus Snow.
The Bible says that the current geopolitical structures will change before the “time of the end.” Ten European leaders, representing 10 nations or groups of nations, will form a temporary union that will divert supreme authority to a central figure, known as the beast (Revelation 13; Revelation 17:12-13). This end-time power will dominate the world economy and will eventually lead a fight against Jesus Christ Himself (Revelation 17:14).
To learn more about this future political power, read “Who Is the Beast?”
Betrayal isn’t a trait unique to dystopian fiction, but it is a common occurrence in these stories. In Nineteen Eighty-Four, it was the man who provided George Winston his safe haven who betrayed him to the government. In The Maze Runner, The Hunger Games and Divergent, it is almost impossible to discern who is trustworthy and who is not because of the prevalence of deception, lies and treason.
Betrayal awaits us in our future as well. Christ warned His followers that “many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another” (Matthew 24:10). This betrayal will occur throughout the world, but the context, shockingly, implies that some of this betrayal will happen among even God’s called-out ones.
Many dystopian works conclude with no real resolution. In Orwell’s work, the protagonist yields himself to the corrupt government he opposed. The Maze Runner plot reveals a government left to collapse while the heroes hide and start their own civilization. In The Hunger Games, there is a change in the government, but at a cost to the rebels.
This is where the Bible diverges from dystopian fiction! There will be a positive resolution, and while many lives will have been lost, they will all eventually be brought back to life again. Jesus Christ will return and save the human race! The establishment of His government will end the future dystopia—beginning an era of utopia.
God has told us in advance so that we can know what is coming and be prepared. Unlike the dystopian novels of today, a perfect government will come and change everything.
Are you ready?
To learn how you can prepare for the times ahead, read “Can You Really Prep for Doomsday?”
Screencap from The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1